We Went Geocaching…Sort Of

What is geocaching, you ask? Did you ever see Pirates Of The Caribbean where Johnny Depp uses his magical compass to locate the hidden treasure that he really, really wants? Well, geocaching is nothing like that.

johnny depp, captain jack sparrow, pirates of the caribbean, magic compass

If geocaching were like this, then I would have actually found Johnny Depp when I went geocaching.

Image from here.

According to, geocaching is a free real-world outdoor treasure hunt. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using a smartphone or GPS and can then share their experiences online.

But you should check out my friend P.J.’s blog if you really want to learn the basics of geocaching and what it’s all about.

Which is probably what co-blogger Mike and I should have done before attempting to go geocaching for the first time. See, Mike came over and after eating yummy swag cheese, he started talking about geocaching and I was all, like, “Oh yeah, I know what that is because I am sooooo up on things.” and then he pulled out his phone and started poking away at it until he exclaimed “Hey, there’s one right near here!”

Yes, he exclaimed. He’s a very enthusiastic person.

In any case, we took my son Max and off we went. The geocache is only located a few blocks away, in a little wooded are down by the river. Mike kept a close eye on his phone so we could make sure we were headed in the right direction. I believe the geocache was indicated with a green circle and we were indicated by a blue triangle.

woods, river, man, boy, Montreal

So, at first the little green circle was ahead of us. The arrow is pointing out Mike, who was making sure we didn’t pass the treasure by.

And then, somehow, even though Mike was carefully monitoring his phone, the geocache was behind us.

river, woods, man, evening, Montreal

So, we backtracked a bit. There’s Mike again, still carefully checking his phone.

And then, of course, we were right on top of it. Apparently. So, we looked around like crazy. And what did we find? Nothing. Well, not exactly nothing. I found a stump that bears a striking resemblance to a tree in my yard.

tree stump, hole in tree

I think maybe they just grow this way in Montreal.

We kept rooting around, trying to find the geocache. Mike read some of the comments left by people who had already found it, trying to see if they gave any clues. The only “helpful” comment was by one person who wrote that you needed really good eyes to find the cache. And then Mike noticed that somehow, even though we hadn’t moved, the geocache was now located behind us again.

man, woods, tree, geocaching, gps,

It’s like déjà vu all over again.

By this time, Max, for some strange reason, lost interest in walking back and forth over the same 20 foot path looking into, under and around trees, rocks and bushes. So he found some rocks and threw them into the river.

boy, river, skipping stones

Oh yes, this is so much more interesting.

We finally gave up and started back with Max repeating, “There was no treasure. I’m not, not, not, NOT happy!” for the entire 10 minute walk home. I guess the first thing you really need to know about geocaching is: if you’re going to try it with a young child, hide a geocache in your purse to bring along. Just in case.



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